Luis Gabriel Portillo

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Luis Gabriel Portillo Pérez (18 March 1907 – 1993) was a Spanish professor, left-wing politician and writer who lived in exile in the United Kingdom.

Early life and career[edit]

Luis Gabriel Portillo was born in Gimialcón (Ávila, Spain) to Justino Portillo, a medical doctor, and his wife Ana María Pérez. His family moved in 1909 to Madrigal de las Altas Torres, also in Ávila.

He studied in Salamanca and Madrid, becoming a professor of civil law at the University of Salamanca in 1934, where he befriended Miguel de Unamuno, the rector of the university.[1] He became Deputy Secretary of Justice during the Second Spanish Republic.

Spanish Civil War and exile[edit]

During the Spanish Civil War he supported the Republicans, though in a non-combatant role for fear of killing one of his six brothers, who were all on Franco's side. At the end of the war he went into exile in England, aided by a Labour MP. In England he worked in a refugee camp for evacuated Spanish children, where he met his wife Cora (née Blyth). Later on he worked in news media as a translator and editor. He also published poetry.[1]

In 1972, he became chief of the London Diplomatic Office of the Spanish Republican government in exile. On 23 June 1977, 40 years after being dismissed and nearly two years after Franco's death he was politically rehabilitated as a university professor.

In 1977, he was one of the founders of the new Republican Left, a Spanish party which took its name from Manuel Azaña's party of the same name which had been previously dissolved in 1959.

He had five sons, including Michael Portillo, is a British journalist, broadcaster, and former Conservative Party politician and Cabinet Minister.[2]


  1. ^ a b Michael Portillo (18 October 2001). "Blood of Spain". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  2. ^ "Spanish civil war speech invented by father of Michael Portillo, says historian", The Guardian, 11 May 2018
  • Ángel Luis Portillo (Ed.), Ruiseñor del destierro: poesías de Luis Gabriel Portillo, Barcelona, Anthropos, 1989, ISBN 84-7658-195-5

External links[edit]